European Shares Poised For Mixed Open

European stocks look set to open on a mixed note Friday as investors pause for breath after four days of gains.

Asian markets remain mostly higher on expectations of a large stimulus by the Biden administration and amid bets that progress in vaccine distribution will lead to growth and earnings recovery.

There is more positive news on the vaccine front, with reports suggesting that British researchers plan to use the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines to find ways to reduce coronavirus variants.

Treasury yields climbed in anticipation of a large pandemic relief bill from Washington while the dollar is on track to post its biggest weekly gain in three months.

Gold inched higher but remains on course to post its worst week in ten amid dollar strength. Oil headed for its biggest weekly gain since October on expectations for stronger oil demand.

Factory orders data from Germany and Halifax house price figures from the U.K. are due later in the session, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

Across the Atlantic, trading is likely to be driven by reaction to the Labor Department’s closely watched report on the employment situation in the month of January.

Economists expect employment to rise by 50,000 jobs in January after a decline of 140,000 jobs in December. The unemployment rate is expected to hold at 6.7 percent.

Overnight, U.S. stocks rallied as investors cheered another batch of upbeat earnings from big-name companies and data showing a continued decline in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 1.1 percent to extend gains for the fourth straight session amid signs of progress on a pandemic-relief package, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rallied 1.2 percent and the S&P 500 jumped 1.1 percent to hit fresh record closing highs.

European stocks gained ground for the fourth day running on Thursday as investors assessed the latest batch of earnings reports and remained hopeful that a pickup in vaccination drive will boost economic growth.

News about former ECB chief Mario Draghi agreeing to help form a new Italian government also contributed to the positive mood.

The pan European Stoxx 600 advanced 0.6 percent. The German DAX gained 0.9 percent and France’s CAC 40 index rose 0.8 percent while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.1 percent.

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